Endometriosis: symptoms, causes and treatment 

Endometriosis is a painful and intrusive condition that can impact all aspects of your life. The Mayo Clinic describes endometriosis as a disorder where the tissue that normally lines the uterus starts to grow outside of it. The displaced tissues can impact various parts of the pelvic region, including the ovaries and bowel. 
The problems occur when the tissue continues to thicken and shed during the menstrual cycle. Ordinarily, it would exit the body during your period. However, the tissue becomes trapped, which can lead to inflammation and cysts. 
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Causes 
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, it is not exactly clear what causes the disorder. What research does indicate is that it is not contagious, and there may be a genetic aspect to it that makes it more likely for women to have endometriosis if a close female relative has it. Interestingly, research has also indicated that endometriosis can be present during a baby’s development. The disorder is then triggered at the age of puberty. 
Symptoms
A number of symptoms are linked to endometriosis, but some people experience none or very few of them. This can make it difficult to receive a proper diagnosis. The Endometriosis Foundation of America indicates the most common signs:
• Pain during sexual activity
• Intense cramping
• Fertility issues
• Heavy menstrual flow
• Periods lasting longer than seven days
• Bowel issues
• Urinary disorders
• Nausea and vomiting
Treatment
There is no cure for endometriosis, but it can be managed with medication and hormone therapy. Over time, the symptoms may become more intense, necessitating a more aggressive approach — surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two options: conservative surgery or total hysterectomy.
Traditional Surgery
This is the approach often taken for women who are still in their reproductive years and suffer from milder symptoms. To keep the uterus and ovaries intact, the surgeon removes the built-up tissue for temporary relief. However, it is likely that the tissue will return, as will the pain and other symptoms. 
Hysterectomy
In some cases, a total hysterectomy is needed when symptoms become too severe. Surgeons remove the ovaries and uterus, making it impossible to reproduce. According to the Mayo Clinic, even with a hysterectomy, symptoms may continue. This can occur because the remaining estrogen produced by the ovaries can stimulate any remaining endometriosis. 
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Endometriosis can be a devastating condition that impacts women on a physical and emotional level. Keep the conversation going—share with your friends. 
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